Man dead, 2 children shot in the face

June 27, 2011 2:18:56 PM PDT
A weekend of violence ended with two young girls shot in the face and a man dead after a shooting at a North Philadelphia playground.

UPDATE: Teens sought in fatal rec center shooting

Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told reporters late Sunday night, the fatal playground shooting may be connected to another that occurred around a half hour earlier.

According to Ramsey, a male and a female were driving down 33rd and Sergeant streets when they were approached by two males.

The suspects fired at the man and woman. The victims are said to be in stable condition.

A black car was seen in both shootings.

"Because of the proximity, we're going under the assumption that they are [connected]," Ramsey said.

Following the double shooting, police and medics were called around 9:00 p.m. to the Mander Playground Recreation Center for the report of multiple people shot.

According to community activist Derrick Ford of the Strawberry Mansion Athletic Association, this shooting began with an unauthorized gathering of young people near 33rd and Diamond streets.

"There was an unauthorized party here that was not sanctioned by the Department of Recreation or the playground director. Apparently, some people from the neighborhood had a generator and a DJ which brought on this whole onslaught of shooting here at the playground. But again for the record, it was an unauthorized party," Ford told Action News.

Ford says he is told as many as 200 people gathered at the unauthorized event outside the Mander Recreation Center.

Ramsey, citing it was too early in the investigation, did not confirm this was such an event.

As the event progressed, someone apparently became angry and gunshots were fired into the crowd..

An unidentified man in his late 20's was shot 6 times: once in the head, four times in the right arm, and once in the leg.

He was transported to Temple University Hospital where he was pronounced dead a little after an hour later.

A 16-year-old female was shot in the leg and was transported to St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in stable condition.

Medics and police were then dispatched to 2301 West Norris Street where a 6-year-old girl and 10-year-old girl were found.

Police say they were suffering from gunshot wounds to the face in connection with the playground shooting.

The two children were also taken to St. Christopher's Hospital and are in stable condition.

Ramsey says there are signs the male may have been the intended target and the three juveniles were bystanders struck by stray bullets.

Police, though, are still trying to sort out all of the details, but have taken at least one person in for questioning.

Ford, who lives nearby the recreation center, just shakes his head at what occurred.

"Two little kids got shot. I mean, people need to think. This is not what we're trying to do out here; we're trying to create a nurturing, healthy atmosphere where kids can have fun and it's sad," Ford said.

These shootings are part of what Commissioner Ramsey called "a very bad weekend."

The weekend included a multiple shooting at a Germantown bar overnight Saturday that killed one man and wounded five others and a shooting in Brewerytown that left a man brain dead until he passed away Sunday afternoon.

"We've had a lot of violence this weekend. I don't know what the totals are, but we've had an awful lot of violence this weekend," Ramsey said.